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What did the NHLPA NOT SAY?

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NHLPA.com | News | Media Releases
TORONTO (July 21, 2010) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) released the following statement today regarding the rejection of Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract with the New Jersey Devils by the National Hockey League (NHL): "The NHLPA is currently analyzing the basis upon which the NHL rejected the contract between the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk. We are evaluating the options available to us under the terms established in the CBA. The NHLPA will have no further comment at this time." – Jonathan Weatherdon, NHLPA Spokesperson

The NHLPA did not say:

  • We believe the Kovalchuk contract to be valid.
  • The league is out of line and we will fight this.
  • We will let the arbiter decide.

What the NHLPA did say:

  • We are looking at the NHL's reasons for rejecting the contract.
  • We are looking at our options.

The NHLPA has two options under the CBA: Dispute, or not.

The NHL's reasons for rejecting the contract are: It crossed the line.

Does the NHLPA agree that the contract crossed a line that other contracts did not? I don't know. I'm hearing a lot of argument (Puck Daddy, Spector via the PD live chat, which once again I managed to miss) that it's b.s. and if the other contracts aren't cheating then this one isn't either. I disagree in principle: there is a line in the sand regarding the how old a player can plausibly be at the end of his contract; we didn't know where it was; now we do. The CBA leaves it up to the clubs to apply their own smell test, which obviously requires the clubs to err on the side of caution, because eventually the day will come when someone goes too far.